People owning AV receivers capable of outputting 7.1 channels or more have had a hard time finding Android TV boxes that supports HD audio pass-through via HDMI. Many devices can pass through 5.1 codec like DTS or Dolby Digital (AC3 / E-AC3), but so far, none of the boxes I’ve tried could manage content with DTS-HD (MA / HR) and Dolby TrueHD with 8 channels properly. The one that came close was Zidoo X9 with support for Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and 7.1, but it downmixes 7.1 channels to 5.1 channels. So the only cost effective options to get proper 7.1 channel pass-through were Intel based mini PCs running Linux such as Asus Chromebox M004U or Intel NUCs.
But recently, I’ve seen some progress. For example, yesterday Cloud Media released a new firmware for their Open Hour Chameleon media player based on Rockchip RK3288 processor.
Their Android 4.4.2 firmware (version 1.0.23) is promises support for HD audio pass-through, albeit with some limitations:
- Supported Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA in MKV/TS.
- HD Audio in BDISO not yet support. Will be supported in next week build.
SPMC HD Audio support require Koying to enable that in SPMC.
So currently TrueHD and DTS-HD MA only work with the internal player, and only with Matroska or transport stream containers. Kodi support, an in this case SMPC fork, is not enabled yet, but I assume it should come in time. A new firmware is coming next, with blu-ray support so I might give a try a that time.
But Open Hour Chameleon is not the only Android platform to have made progress in that regards, as users have confirmed Minix NEO X8-H can also support DTS-HD and TrueHD pass-through, although by using Vidon XBMC Pro that costs $15 per year. Sadly in the same thread, other users also found bugs with some files, and automatic frame rate switching must be disabled for pass-through to work. Vidon XBMC Pro is said to be working on Allwinner A10, A20, & A31s, Amlogic S805, 802 & S812, as well as Mstar MSO9810, but I’m not sure whether you can expect on any products featuring one of those processors. Beside VidOn Box, the only “Vidon XBMC certified” box is Egreat A9, and those two might be the only ones supporting HD audio pass-through right now, although I have not seen any reviews so far that properly tested these capabilities.
So if you need HDMI pass-through today, I still think going with Intel platforms would be better, except Bay Trail-T platforms which do not support 7.1 pass-through, only 5.1. I’m not quite sure about Bay Trail-M and Bay Trail-D support, so feedback would be appreciated here. However, if you’ve purchased a Rockchip RK3288 box with good support, there’s hope for proper HD audio pass-through in the coming weeks or months.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
7 Replies to “Open Hour Chameleon RK3288 TV Box Gets (Partial) DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD HDMI Pass-through Support”
sam nazarko assures vero tv support dts-hd and truehd.
the problem I see is it was supposed to be shipped in january… and… you know…
Sam Nazarko lied a lot about his device which is big shame due the fact that he sell his device for 199 USD while CuBox TV cost 69 or less.
thats what I thought when he said vero doesnt have the 470Mbps network speed limit…
Hmm. Wish I’d read this article before spending the better part of a day figuring out why my rk3288 box wouldn’t play nicely with my new AVR.
i installed this firmware on my beelink r89 AC version. before.
Himedia Q5 with himediaplayer can HD audio 7.1 pass-through DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD ( also with ATMOS ) without problem!
Hi Massimo. Just wondering. How did you get your Dolby TrueHD working? I have a HiMedia Q5 4K3D. I have the latest Android software and HiMedia firmware and Kodi Einsengard. For some reason, TrueHD movies stutter for me. DTS-MA, Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS all work fine. Likewise, if I switch the Dolby TrueHD movies down to Dolby Digital 5.1, the video stutter goes away. Any ideas?